Young Prineville entrepreneur turning up the heat in creative welding
Some individuals simply inspire and intrigue others with their resourcefulness, persistence and talent.
Local resident, Rose Waibel, started her own welding business approximately two years ago called High Desert Creative Minds. The young welder developed a love for the craft during her freshman year of high school.
"I just wanted to try and see what it was like, so I took the class. After I took the beginning class, I really liked it, so I then took advanced in 11th and 12th grade," commented Waibel.
Her passion and propensity for welding continued to grow, and she took advanced classes later in her high school career. Waibel's skills led to a paid internship with a fabrication and welding company while she was part of the Youth Transition Program through Crook County High School. She worked at Proline Fabrication until the pandemic created a layoff from the position.
"We welded bumpers and truck beds. I was the first female intern at Proline Fabrication," added Waibel.
She has always liked to build things, and she especially likes the design and techniques of welding.
"It's not simple, but once you get it done, it looks neat," she added. "I like the sparks."
The multi-talented young woman is also involved in dance and works as a referee for Crook County Parks and Recreation soccer. She has been involved in the referee job for six years — since high school.
She enjoyed her internship tremendously, but since she was laid off, she began her own small business, welding small welding projects. She has enjoyed getting in touch with her artistic side with her welding creations. After she sold a couple of her projects, she decided to open a small business and attends craft fairs and events where she can have a booth to display her wares.
She started this venture in June 2021, and she has business cards and a website. She has participated in the Crooked River Roundup Western Daze, Santa's Workshop, and she has also set up at the Labor Day festival event at Sumter, Oregon.
Waibel has sold 21 projects through her outreach and various events. She has a portable business sign with her picture and name that she takes with her when she sets up at the booths throughout the year. Waibel has a tent with her own equipment, and she works on her welding projects every chance that she gets.
Waibel also loves learning new things. In June 2022, Waibel took a welding class online from the American Gunsmithing Institute. She worked her day job, worked on her welding certification afterwards, then she would go out to her tent to work on projects related to her video lessons.
"They have a list for taking a test, so I took the test and passed it."
Although Waibel took classes through American Gunsmithing Institute, the classes that she was certified in were general welding classes. While she has encountered more men in the profession, she does see women in the welding vocation occasionally. Some of the most challenging things that Waibel has encountered have involved getting her website up and running and working around the COVID pandemic.
Moving forward, Waibel is seeking more opportunities for booths and vocational fairs, so she can promote her business more. She is also on the lookout for a portable trailer. Currently, she puts her projects in the back of her Ford Ranger.
Waibel is also hoping to get back into the welding profession, above and beyond her business, High Desert Creative Minds.
She added in a previous interview, "I want to show people that girls can do things. Anybody can do anything they want."
High Desert Creative Minds
Owner/Designer: Rose Waibel
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.